When Is The Best Time To Take The MPRE?
Taking the MPRE can be tricky for many reasons. First, you need to figure out what material is tested on the MPRE. Then you have to create a plan for studying. Last, you need to find the best time to take the MPRE for your schedule!
In this blog post, we look at the pros and cons of different testing times for the exam.
When Is The Best Time To Take The MPRE?
The MPRE is offered three times a year: August, November, and March.
Most students take it in March of their 3L year, but there is no reason you can’t take it sooner.
Should I take the MPRE in my 2L year?
There are some benefits to getting the test out of the way in your 2L year! Here are some of the biggest:
- Allows you to vet bar prep companies
The MPRE can be a great way to test out different studying strategies and materials as you look forward to taking the bar as most bar prep companies also offer free MPRE materials. Studying for the MPRE can then help you decide how you learn best and which bar prep company best suits your style of learning. For instance, do you like listening to online lectures or do you need paper materials? How many practice questions you need to feel comfortable with material? Knowing the answers to these questions and your overall learning preferences can help you make a more informed decision when you are selecting a provider for a bar course.
- Re-familiarize yourself with standardized testing on a low-stakes exam
The MPRE is also a low-stakes way to gauge how well you perform in a standardized testing setting, particularly if it has been a while since you took the LSATs.
As the MPRE is a short exam with a limited scope of material, it is a relatively easy way to get comfortable with standardized tests again. For instance, you can refamiliarize yourself with having to bring an ID and a clear plastic bag with your materials. Going through these formalities can help you lessen stress when you do take the bar exam. And if you are worried at all about these little stressors, giving yourself more time to acclimate before you have to take the bar might be better!
- Gives you the chance to take it again 3L year if you don’t pass
Also, if you do fail the MPRE, taking it during your 2L year will give you plenty of time to take it again. And if you pass, you can relax a little more during your 3L year!
What are some other considerations?
In helping you decide more specifically when to take the test – and not just whether to sit for the exam in 2L or 3L year – here are some other things to think about.
- Is there a time requirement for my state?
The first thing you should do is determine when your state requires you to take the MPRE. While some states require that you take the MPRE before you sit for the bar, that is not a universal requirement. For instance, Massachusetts requires that you take the MPRE prior to the bar exam, but New York doesn’t have a preference (though you do have to take it within three years of sitting for the bar exam).
- Will I be taking an ethics class in law school?
If your school, or the state in which you will be taking the bar, requires you to take an ethics class, it makes the most sense to take the MPRE after that class.
While the class might not teach directly to the MPRE material per se, it will at least provide you with some familiarity with the rules. And that will give you a leg up when you go to study!
- What other commitments will I have?
The fall can be a particularly busy time of year, especially if you are on a journal or involved with lots of other extracurricular activities. It might then be difficult to have time to study for the November or March sitting. For that reason, it might then be preferable to take the August exam as you will likely have fewer obligations.
Also, most summer commitments end in late July. This will give you a few weeks off to prepare and get ready for the MPRE.
Additionally, as you can sit for the MPRE in any state, you don’t have to worry that you aren’t spending the summer where you go to school or where you might be practicing law.
- When are my friends taking the exam?
It is always nice to have a group to study with – or commiserate with! You might then want to see when your law school friends are planning on taking the exam so that you can motivate one another to study and form study groups!
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